Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When to sign a deal

Here's the question you should ask yourself before entering any deal:

What does this person/company stand to gain from doing business with me?

If the answer is your sign up fee, your subscription fee, or anything else that has to do with money directly out of your pocket, walk away. However, if the answer has something to do with revenue from your future success, then you're headed in the right direction. If they make more money because you're making more money, there's some motivation there for both parties.

As a musician, my main concerns should be practicing, writing, performorming, and recording. But I also maintain my website, book and promote my own gigs, mail out my own CDs, promote my recordings, and generally just try to stay on top of all the potential marketing opportunities that might come my way. There are thousands out there just like me. It's hard work.

Eventually I'll need to hire somebody to do some of these non-music making related tasks. I don't want to book my own shows forever. I also can't really talk up my new CD to other people. It's good for an artist to be passionate about what they created, but eventually it needs validation from some other authority, and championed by appropriate fans or tastemakers.

I'm always on the lookout for a deal, but I'm in no rush. If you want to own my music, you're out. If you can't speak passionately about my music, you're out. If you can't triple one of my streams of revenue, because I know you want a piece of it, you're out. If you want my money up front, and don't have plans to work with me a year from now, or for a significant period after my album is released, I'll pass. Thanks, but no thanks.

1 comment:

dan said...

"If you want to own my music, you're out." Amen to that. More generally, nice insights.